TechRepublic members got into some spirited discussions this year on the topic of workplace issues. Take a look at five of the best.


If you’ve been around TechRepublic for a while you know that some of the best advice and insights come from the discussion boards. The discussions following blogs are also a good way to find out that that little problem you had with a co-worker or boss is shared by 60 other people.

Today, I’m going to highlight the five best career discussions on TechRepublic in 2008. I’ll link to the blogs that inspired the comments and let you take it from there.

1. Six grammar and punctuation mistakes you might not know you’re making

This one inspired a deeper discussion of the “i before e except after c rule” and the bastardization of the English language by Americans. A lot of people threw out some more pronunciations and misuses of the language that drive them mad. Who knew mistakes could be so much fun?

My favorite response came from TechRepublic member Tink when she related this story: “My son’s spelling test came home with the following comment from the teacher written on it: ‘Your getting better’!”

2. Is ageism a thriving prejudice?

This discussion involved a few skirmishes between older IT workers and younger ones just getting into the workforce, with valid points on both sides. TechRepublic member davidt, however, summed up his opinion nicely:

“No manager I know or have ever known gets rid of mature workers to bring in ‘new and fresh ideas and skills.’ They get rid of high salaries and bring in low ones.”

3. Employers who check out job candidates on MySpace could be legally liable

Most of the posters in this discussion pointed out how difficult it would be to prove that a prospective employer based a hiring decision on what he or she read on a social engineering site. However, most also made the point that, if they want to, those employers can be influenced by the sites. As mesk9.oz said in the discussion: “If you use these sites, then you should take responsibility for what you do, and not try to blame others, for example the employer, for reading it and using it. No, the company should *not* be liable. *You* are liable.”

4. Do you use the Objectives section on your resume?

Who would have suspected that a few words at the top of a resume could incite such an onslaught of comments? Comments came in from folks who use the Objectives statements, those who don’t, and even from managers who weighed in on whether they paid any attention to Objectives statements on candidate resumes they receive. If you decide to use the Objectives statement, you’d be well-advised to follow the advice of TechRepublic member RTHJr. Click here to read the entire post.

5. Can a dress code prohibit body art?

This topic touched off a firestorm of discussion. Apparently, people feel strongly about tattoos and piercings, on both sides of the issue. Check it out for some very interesting viewpoints.